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A router combo kit is one of the most versatile, economical equipment purchases a woodworker can make. With it, you get a plunge base and a fixed base that share one motor. It’s like having two routers in one.
One of the downsides to combo kits was that the on/off switch had to be on the motor, requiring you to start and stop the router one-handed. But the new 2.3-hp Bosch router kit has the trigger switches in the handles of each base, thanks to connector tracks in the base and on the motor. This revolutionary design gives you a level of control and safety that most combo kits just can’t reach. Innovation didn’t stop there. With large openings in the housings, clear sub bases, and two LEDs in the motor, both bases offer excellent workpiece visibility. Each base can be microadjusted to dial in the cutting depth, and the fixed base allows for above-the-table adjustment, via an included hex wrench. The wrench engages a lead screw, so the height adjustment is straight up and down, ensuring accuracy. Bosch even includes a set of extralong screws to mount the fixed base to a table.
Trigger magic. By wiring both bases, Bosch puts the trigger at your fingertips. Other combo kits put the on-off switch on the motor, forcing you to let go with one hand to reach it.
The depth adjustment and zero system on the plunge base are simple to set. In addition to the fixed step turrets, this model features a pair of adjustable steps, which increase the accuracy and versatility of the depth stops. In use, the router is well balanced, with comfy handles on each base that help ease maneuverability. The variable-speed, soft-start motor (15 amps) had plenty of power to shape thick hardwood (I used white oak for the test cuts) with very little vibration, leaving excellent cuts. Switching out bases takes just 6 seconds. And each base accepts optional dust-extraction shrouds and edge guides, as well as Bosch’s proprietary guide-bushing system. The router comes with 1⁄4-in. and 1⁄2-in. collets and requires two wrenches to change bits.
Finally, the router has a long (10-ft.) power cord with a nifty ball-and-socket swivel where it attaches to the motor. The design makes it easier to maneuver the tool and reduces strain on the cord.
I’m a hard-core router guy, and I give this Bosch router kit two thumbs up.
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